Award History
NAIA ITF National Awards

2022 NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Awards

NEW ORLEANS – National Athletes & Coaches of the Year for the 2022 NAIA Indoor Track & Field season were announced on Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

These awards were voted on by USTFCCCA member coaches following the conclusion of the 2022 NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships this past weekend in Brookings, South Dakota, based off performances at that meet, as well as throughout the rest of the season.

Only athletes and coaches from member institutions are eligible to win awards.

National Men's Track Athlete of the Year

Zouhair Talbi was named the National Men’s Track Athlete of the Year for the 2022 NAIA Indoor Track & Field season. Talbi, who hails from Tighassaline, Khenifra, Morocco, had a sensational and record-breaking campaign. The Oklahoma City standout swept the mile, 3000 and 5000 at the 2022 NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships, which came after a regular season where he etched his name into the top-10 of collegiate history in both the 3000 (No. 3, 7:40.39) and 5000 (No. 8, 13:18.17). His 30 points at the NAIA Championships helped guide the Stars to their first indoor national title in program history.

National Women's Track Athlete of the Year

Joy Abu was named the National Women’s Track Athlete of the Year for the 2022 NAIA Indoor Track & Field season. Abu, who hails from Kwara State, Nigeria, scored 26 points at the 2022 NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships with an unheard of 60H-400 double and a third-place finish in the 200. During the regular season, Abu won the 200 and 400 at the SSAC Indoor Championships and was named the SSAC Track Athlete of the Year for her efforts.

National Men's Field Athlete of the Year

Dylan Kucera was named the National Men’s Field Athlete of the Year for the 2022 NAIA Indoor Track & Field season. Kucera, who hails from Fremont, Nebraska, scored 16 points at the 2022 NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships with a national title in the shot put and a third-place effort in the weight throw. He was especially dominant in the shot put, as he recorded each of the top-21 throws among NAIA athletes during the regular season.

National Women's Field Athlete of the Year

Destiny Copeland was named the National Women’s Field Athlete of the Year for the 2022 NAIA Indoor Track & Field season. Copeland, who hails from Chesapeake, Virginia, scored 20 points at the 2022 NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships with a horizontal jump sweep. She won the long jump at 5.94m (19-6) and bounded 12.19m (40-0) to capture the triple jump. During the regular season, Copeland totaled 18 points at the WHAC Indoor Championships with a first-place effort in the triple jump and a runner-up finish in the long jump.

National Men's Coach of the Year

Frezer Legesse was named the National Men’s Coach of the Year for the 2022 NAIA Indoor Track & Field season. Legesse, in his first year in charge of the Stars, guided them to the team title at the 2022 NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships. Oklahoma City got 52 of their 68 points from Zouhair Talbi and Shimales Abebe, as the duo finished 1-2 in the mile, 1-2 in the 3000 and 1-2 in the 5000. The Stars also took fourth in the 1000, eighth in the mile and fifth in the distance medley relay. Legesse oversaw Talbi’s record-breaking year, a campaign in which the Moroccan notched all-time collegiate marks in the both the 3000 (No. 3, 7:40.39) and 5000 (No. 8, 13:18.17).

National Women's Coach of the Year

Doug Edgar was named the National Women’s Coach of the Year for the 2022 NAIA Indoor Track & Field season. Edgar, in his 11th year in charge of the Warriors, guided them to the team title at the 2022 NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships. Indiana Tech put on a masterclass performance in Brookings, South Dakota, as it scored 127 points – the most by a women’s title-winning program since 2014. The Warriors won seven event titles at the national meet, which included a clean sweep of the horizontal jumps and high jump. During the regular season, Indiana Tech won the team title at the WHAC Indoor Championships with a record 280.5 points.

National Men's Assistant Coach of the Year

Dylan Biedron was named the National Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year for the 2022 NAIA Indoor Track & Field season. Biedron, in his second year as assistant coach at Saint Mary (Kan.), saw his athletes contribute more than half of the Spires’ 31-point total to earn a podium finish at the 2022 NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships. During the regular season, Biedron’s athletes scored 49 points at the KCAC Indoor Championships with event titles in the 60, 200 and 400, and produced a 1-2-3 sweep in the 200 to set the tone for the meet.

National Women's Assistant Coach of the Year

Austin Roark was named the National Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year for the 2022 NAIA Indoor Track & Field season. Roark, in his eighth year as assistant coach at Indiana Tech, saw his athletes shine at the 2022 NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships. His proteges scored 47 points in Brookings, South Dakota, which would have ranked them third overall in the team standings alone. The Warriors swept the horizontal jumps thanks to Destiny Copeland’s double and added the high jump crown to their ledger as well thanks to Jaunita Webster-Freeman. His athletes dominated the Descending Order List during the regular season and gave Indiana Tech the top-ranked #EventSquad in the high jump, long jump, triple jump and pentathlon.